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Sharm El Sheikh Local Diving Sites

Sharm El Sheikh Local Diving Sites

Sharm Local Dives covers all the dive sites north and south of Naama Bay between the straits of Tiran and the town of Sharm El Sheikh. You reach the different local dive sites from Naama Bay following a boat ride that may take anywhere from 10 to 70 minutes. North of Naama Bay there are nine dive spots on a 12 Km stretch. Ras Ghamila, the furthest away, lies almost directly to the Gordon Reef; Ras Nasrani is on a level to the airport; the others within a short distance of each other. South of Naama Bay are a further nine diving sites. Sodfa, Tower, Pinky Wall, Amphoras, Turtle Bay, Paradise, Ras Umm Sid, Temple and Ras Katy.


With over 40 diving sites stretching from Straits of Tiran to Ras Mohammed, plus a rich marine life and numerous shipwrecks, not to mention stunning coral reefs that are renowned for being the most beautiful in the world, all in all it’s no wonder that Sharm El-Sheikh is the world’s number one diving destination. A myriad of species will dance before your eyes, and the walls will be thronging with colourful alcyonarians (soft corals) and acroporas, some of them up to a metre high. You are certain to be overwhelmed by the majesty of what awaits you under the waves.

DIVING ABILITY
ALL LEVELS

MARINE LIFE
Grouper fish, angel fish, clown fish, trumpet fish, butterfly fish.

UNMISSABLE DIVES
Thomas Reef - a 50m canyon Jackson Reef for shark diving

WRECKS

  • Carina
  • Dunraven
  • Kingston
  • Thistlegorm

Sharm El Sheikh Local Diving Sites

Far Garden Diving

The Far Garden is located north of Naama Bay. It is a coral wall that drops off the shore and slopes down to a depth of 160 feet. There are caves that can be found in the shallow areas of 20 to 40 feet. In the caves there are schools of glass sweeper fish and flashlight fish can sometimes be found on night dives.

In the deeper waters, large overhangs that are covered with soft corals, large fan corals and a few black coral trees can be found. Coral growth throughout the site is concentrated in small patches, with strong growth of dozens of species, from staghorn and antler coral to delicate Dendronephthya.

Similar to the Near Garden in that it is popular for night dives with day boat operators. You normally leave at dusk and by the time you get there, it is dark. The reef comes alive at night and it is hard to believe it is the same place during the daylight hours. If you turn off your diving light and have the patience, you might be lucky enough to see the flashlight fish.

Fish life is good, with lots of wrasse. Napoleons in particular, but also big parrots and groupers inhabit the reef. Hawkfish, scorpionfish, fairy basslets, damsels, and many types of triggerfish share the reef, while goatfish, lizardfish and crocodilefish can be found on the many sandy areas.

The typical depth range is from 10 to 165 feet and is accessed as a shore dive, a boat dive or a local guide can take you there. The expertise required for this area is for a novice to advanced snorkeler.

Middle Garden Diving

Middle Garden is located east of Na'ama Bay and the Near Garden. Like Near Garden it has a gentle slope which falls away to 20-25m and is a combination of sand and colourful coral formations and outcrops. There are a number of large boulder type outcrops boasting yellow waver coral (which looks like a giant lettuce) as well as raspberry coral and cone coral. A nice way to dive this site is to head east at the deeper part of your dive and then return at around 6m, where there is a proliferation of small fish life.

Paradise / Fiasco Dive Site

This is really a combination of two dive sites; the southernmost, Fiasco, lies just north of the point at Ras Umm Sid, while Paradise is the northern extension of the same reef. The Paradise section has some amazing outcrops - like a garden of abstract sculptures.

To the south, the pinnacles continue, interspersed with some very nice acropora tables. A very good density of soft corals is complemented by a wide range of hard species. The quality of coral at this site, particularly inshore, is among the finest on the coast.

Big s and barracuda of more than a meter can be seen here when the current is running as can schooling and solitary reef fish. Sandy sections host interesting bottom dwellers such as crocodile fish and blue spotted stingrays. Unless a decent current is flowing, the site can be somewhat dull as water movement brings out the full variety of fish life. With a strong current it is possible to drift from the north end of Paradise almost to the point of Ras Umm Sid on one tank.

Ras Nasrani Diving

The name of this site means “Christian Cape” in Arabic. A drift dive that starts on a sandy plateau around 6 meters. The reef cuts away in a series of shallow bays where the sandy flows originates. At 12 meters you can see a lovely red anemone in the middle of an impressive coral garden. This dive is best kept shallow to admire the spectacular coral heads. Ras Nasrani is the ideal spot to find the giant clams, deep purples, blues, browns, being the area with the highest population density in the Red Sea.
Skill level: Open Water Divers - Advanced Scuba Divers
Access: Access by boat
Scenery: 2 stars
Fauna: 2 stars
GPS: 27°57.809 N - 34°24.938 E

Sharks Bay Diving

Sharks Bay is a small bay that is located north of Na'ama Bay. This bay consists of a rugged shoreline that drops down below the surface to a sandy canyon. There are many crevices that contain numerous soft corals and many red fish. The red fish, which are called lyretail coralfish, are said by some divers to be the reason it is called the Red Sea. The reef is very beautiful, but you might take a look out into the blue waters every now and then. You might see a barracuda, a spotted eagle ray, or a shark, for which the bay was named. More details about: Sharks Bay Dive Site Along Sharks Bay Beach
Jackson Reef diving

Manta Ray Tower Dive Site - Sharm El Sheikh

Located halfway between Sharm El Sheikh and Na'ama Bay the Tower is often dived as a shore dive, where divers enter the water and descend to around 5m, where there is a cave which goes through the reef for several metres. The tunnel then opens into a three sided canyon in the reef wall and drops away steeply. This site actually gets its name from a rock formation above the surface and to the south of the shore entrance which is clearly visible from dive boats. There is a stone tower which sits proud of the rocky shoreline.

The tower is an impressive dive in terms of topography and also has some great marine attractions. Claire - I'm very jealous you saw a manta here (see attached picture). There are several small caves with sweepers and glassfish crammed wall to wall and this also makes an excellent night dive spot.

Tower is located between Naama Bay and Sharm El Sheikh Harbor. The site, named for a tower-like rock formation on shore, lies just below the Tower resort complex. This site is very popular and is considered to be a very exciting dive site. A shallow reef table starts immediately off the shore and drops down to 195 feet. As you drift with the current down along the wall, you will find fan corals that are much larger than a diver. The current is not a very strong one usually and is a great drift dive for photographers.

For shore entries and exits, especially at low tide, it is worth knowing about a short-cut. Halfway across the reeftop, directly out from the steps, is a small submerged cave mounth. This opens out into a passage leading through to the open water, butting out half of the awkward clamber across the reeftop.

The reef is most interesting in its upper reaches, with the exception of the canyon which drops to depths of 40m (130ft). Coral in the top 20 to 25m (65-80ft) is excellent, with a very wide variety of species. Quality is good, particularly in terms of the luxuriant soft coral growth, which is in fine condition. The reef shallows host almost every fish you can imagine and reef sharks have been known to visit the reef's deeper sections.

There are caves along the wall and some of them actually open up in the shallow reef table above. There are many glass sweepers, soft corals and Red Sea bannerfish, which travel in pairs, in these caves. There are many jacks and sometimes an occasional pelagic fish that you will encounter while drifting along the wall. In the overhangs there are numerous soft corals of every color you can imagine. If you look hard, you might see a longnose hawkfish on the soft coral stalks.

The typical depth range of the Tower is 10 to 195 feet deep and is best accessed by drift boat dive or a local guide. The expertise required for this site is a novice with an instructor to advanced to a dive master or instructor.

White Knight Diving

A small sandy bay leading to a beautiful canyon with a sandy floor that drops down to 30 meters. Once you leave the canyon you can follow the reef wall along to the wreck of Noose One, a diving boat that sank there in 1994 after a fire and that lies upside down at a depth of 15 meters.
Skill level: Open Water Divers- Advanced Scuba Divers
Access: Access by boat
Scenery: 3 stars
Fauna: 2 stars
GPS: 27°57.627' N - 34°23.888 E

Garden Diving: Far, Near and Middle Garden Dives Sites in Sharm El Sheikh

Far, Near and Middle Garden Dives Sites in Sharm El Sheikh is the best diving spot in the Red Sea. Three dive sites, Near, Middle and Far. Far garden is situated in the northernmost part of the bay just north from Naama Bay. A fringing reef which drops to 25 meters and is scattered with small pinnacles swirling with glassfish. Middle garden is quite simply situated in the middle of the bay directly in front of the Hyatt Hotel. Completely sheltered from the wind and waves this is a great local site for training or check dives. A sandy plateau at 6 meters sloping down to a drop off at 14 meters. Near Garden is usually done as a drift from Middle to Near. Following the drop off from Middle garden with the reef to the right is an impressive drift dive over a series of stony coral heads. Shoals of sweet lips and red tooth triggerfish.
Skill level: Open Water Divers
Access: Access by boat
Scenery: 2 stars
Fauna: 3 stars
GPS: 27°54.401' N - 34°20.833 E

Near Garden Dive Site

The Near Garden is located northeast of Na'ama Bay (north of Sharm el Sheikh) and as its name suggests is nearer to Na'ama Bay than Middle Garden (located east) and Far Garden located even further to the east just before the mainland swings back to the west. Near Garden has a gentle slope which falls away to 20-25m and is a combination of sand and colorful coral formations and outcrops. If you head south from this slope it drops away on an increasingly steep curve until you reach 50m and beyond. Current is rarely a consideration here and this makes it ideal for night dives from Na'ama bay, or safari boats.

The Near Garden is located at the north entrance to Naama Bay. It is a coral shelf that extends out from the shore and extends for about 20 feet at a shallow depth. It then slopes off to 100 feet to a sandy bottom. In some places along the slope you may find sand channels that rise to the coral shelf.

This site begins on an inshore mini-wall that drops from the surface reef table to about 15m (50ft). From here, the reef slopes gently outward, maintaining an even profile to 25m (80ft), where the slope steepens considerably. A huge number of pinnacles, heads and coral clumps dot the reef as it descends, hosting populations of colorful small reef fish. The larger reef fish are also present as are bluespotted stingrays resting half hidden on the sandy bottom.

The wall is covered with fan corals, soft and hard corals which are the homes to many fish species. In this area you may find some large humphead wrasses that will sometimes swim up above you or alongside hoping to get a handout of food.

Feeding of the fish is prohibited because it upsets the biological balance of the reef. There are some divers who disregard these regulations and the fish have become quite used to getting fed. This does come as some benefit to the divers as the fish are sometimes easily approachable for photos and videos.

The Near Garden is a great place for night diving. The reef is completely different at night than it is during the day. The basket and feather stars come out at night to feed in the currents and the lack of sunlight and the use of dive lights makes the colors of the reef more beautiful.

The typical depth range is from 5 to 100 feet and is best accessed by a shore dive, boat dive or a local guide. The expertise that is required for this area is for a novice to advanced snorkeler.

Ras Katy Diving

A shamandura dive. Moored between the fringing reef and the impressive pinnacle this dive begins on the 5 meter sandy plateau home to many stingrays and crocodile fish. The main feature of this dive site is the impressive pinnacle housing many reef fish. A perfect site for new divers to experience the wonders of the underwater world in a tranquil and relaxing environment. The site is also popular for night dives with an abundance of lion fish.
Skill level: Open Water Diver - Advanced Scuba Divers
Access: Access by boat
Scenery: 2 stars
Fauna: 1 star
GPS: 27°50.838' N - 34°18.107E

Ras Umm Sid Diving

The lighthouse marks this fantastic local dive, usually done as a drift with reef to the left shoulder. This dive site is famous for its amazing gorgonian forest at 15 meters leading to a sandy plateau packed with soft coral, home to many species of fish. The currents at the corner trap great quantities of plankton which attracts a lot of pelagic fish, good chance to see Napoleons, Eagle Rays, Manta and Shark.
Far Garden Diving

Temple Dive Site

The three large coral pillars rise from the reef floor at 15 meters is the main feature of this dive site. At the base of the coral formation grow large gorgonian fans. Morays, butterfly fish, emperors and napoleons can all be found around the pinnacles. A swim through at 17 meters and a sandy plateau that gradually drops off into the abyss. A very popular local site ideal for check dives. Good night dive site and a good chance of seeing Spanish dancers.
Skill level: Open Water Diver
Access: Access by boat
Scenery: 2 stars
Fauna: 1 star
GPS: 27°51.000' N - 34°18.600E

Turtle Bay Dive Site

This is a medium sloping reef, bounded inshore by a mini-wall to around 10m (33ft), and shallow reeftop 30 to 40m (100-130ft) wide in places. The reef face is well covered with outcrops and pinnacles and boasts an excellent variety of coral species. Fish life is equally diverse, including many sedentary reef fish - scorpions, devil scorpions, stonefish, lizardfish, hawkfish and others - as well as the usual vast array of free-swimming reef species.

When accessing the site form shore, particularly at low tide, the long walk across the reef table can be exasperating. In all but the lowest tides you can in fact swim across the reeftop with your fully inflated scuba gear extended in front of you.

Like many sites along this stretch of coast, the route to the shore access point is via a constantly shifting network of jeep tracks. Check with local dive centers for up-to-date route information.

Last Updated on Monday 10th January 2011